Archives for Chevy Service Tips

Be good to me, I’ll be good to you, says your car!


We know you love your car, and you know what, we love them too. So this week, we’ve decided to show you how you can extend your car’s life with everyday things. Even if you don’t plan on keeping your car so long, keeping your car in great condition will help you get more out of your car trade-in for your next upgrade!

1. Drive with care everyday
Being car considerate shouldn’t stop after the break-in. Drive with care every day and your car will reward you with longer intervals without repair. Do not race your car’s engine during start-up.This is a quick way to add years of wear to your engine, especially if it’s cold outside.

2. Don’t fill up if you see the tanker
If you happen to see a gasoline tanker filling the tanks at your local gas station, come back another day or go to a different station. As the station’s underground tanks are being filled, the turbulence can stir up sediment.

3. Go easy when you’re stuck
When stuck in mud or snow, don’t make the problem worse by damaging an expensive component. Gently rocking in an attempt to free the car is fine. But if it looks as though you’re really stuck, don’t keep at it.

4. Lighten up your key chain
Does your car key share a chain with a dozen or more other keys? That’s a pretty heavy load hanging off the car key when it’s in the ignition.The weight, combined with bouncing while you drive, can wear out the tumblers inside the ignition and eventually lead to ignition switch failure.

5. Park in the shade
Of course, a garage is always the ideal place to park your car. But if one isn’t available, minimize interior damage from UV sunlight and heat by always trying to park your car in the shade. If no shade is available or if you find parking under a tree results in bird droppings, use a car shade to minimize the sun’s impact.

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Guide to preparing your car for summer!



Summer is around the corner, finally! I think we’ve all been waiting for the season to come through as it’s been a rather rough winter for most of us. We have a few tips to make sure your car is being well taken care of and ready for the sunny days.

1. Remove your winter tires

Winter tires are heavier than summer tires and will probably hurt your MPG’s. Also, since they are a bit softer than Summer tires, they will be melting away faster, as the road surface warms up. Of course, while you’re at it, you might want to check the tire pressure.

2. Check oil and filters

The winter can be tough on the car so make sure it’s in good health. Make sure you don’t need an oil change and that all of your filters are in good shape. If you’re not sure on how to do that, feel free to come by and see us, we’ll be glad to check on these for you.

3. Clean the undercarriage

Take this opportunity to clean the undercarriage of your cat. If you’ve been driving in snow and salt, you will most likely need one of those. If you can’t do it yourself, feel free to stop by your dealership or carwash, they’ll be able to powerspray it down.

4. Check your hoses, belts, battery

The changes in temperature can cause the rubber pieces to crack and eventually fail. If your belts don’t work properly, you might overheating your engine during the summer months, so be on the safe side. The battery also takes quite a beating during winter, make sure the connectors are cleaned to ensure a clean connection.

 5. Change your windshield wipers

Just like your engine belts, your windshield wipers might be getting  cracked over time, check them and if they don’t work properly, there’s only one remedy: replacement!

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Good Fuels = Good Vibes

 Good Fuels = Healthy Cars


Do you still buy the cheapest gas you can find? Ever worry it might mess up your engine? Maybe you should, if you drive a newer, direct-injected car, as the hostile environment these high-precision multi-orifice injectors operate under makes them vulnerable to the performance-robbing deposits cheap gas can leave. 

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Be a Tire Expert! Learn Which Tires Works Best for You

Tires 101 – Learning the Tire Categories

Tires are purpose-built. In other words, they are built using the specifications that are best suited to the job that the tire will perform. These specifications determine the materials that the tire is made of as well as the tread patterns and the overall look of the tire. These build specifications can be broken down into the following categories: Touring, Performance, All-Season, Light Truck, and Winter.


I’m sure you heard the term “touring”, but what does that mean? Touring means traveling at highway speeds for prolonged periods. Touring tires are designed to give a quiet, excellent ride with top-notch handling at highway speeds. This type of tire has a non-aggressive tread pattern with straight ribs that allow the channeling of water. Another characteristic of the touring tire is long tread life. Long tread life is certainly a plus but the downside is that the hard compound that makes up this tire tends to freeze in winter, which in turn, sacrifices traction in bad weather.’


This type of tire does a great job at highway speeds. It has an aggressive tread pattern that provides great traction and handling during cornering and aggressive driving. These tires have heavy or large shoulder lugs for cornering traction and a wide smooth face for gripping the road surface. Evacuating water is usually not a strong point of this type of tire. They are made of a softer rubber compound which aids traction but wears out quickly. Performance tires are usually short-lived. Most “Summer” tires fall under this category.’


This category includes the most versatile tires. All-season tires have a dual purpose. First, the tread patterns squeegee, or remove water from underneath each tread block maximizing rubber-to-road contact. Secondly, the tread patterns allow the “pumping” of water, ice, and snow away from the tire. These tires are also made up of a compound that resists freezing, ensuring better traction during icy conditions. Another great characteristic of the all-season tire is its performance in great weather. They are comparatively quieter than performance tires and their blocky tread pattern allows good traction and handling in the wet and dry.’

Light Truck

This type of tire is built for work. They are constructed to work under heavy loads and in rough conditions. The rubber compound is hard, ensuring durability and the steel plies help the tire resist punctures and tears. The tread patterns vary widely and is determined by whether the tire will be used on or off-road. You will find lots of variation for light-truck tires, so thinking through the truck or SUV’s mission will go a long way.’


This category of tire is built for inclement and severe weather. Its whole mission in life is to move and break through snow and ice. The rubber compound resists freezing temperatures and remains flexible. The treads open and close as the tire moves down the road creating a “crunching” effect on ice and snow. This “crunching” keeps the treads clean which gets them ready for the next bite, ensuring traction. They are excellent at evacuating water. The sharp edges on the treads break through ice so that the tire can find the road or a surface that provides greater traction. If you experience an abundance of ice, snow, or inclement weather, the winter tire is your best bet.

Here’s a quick guide for category characteristics:

  • Touring– quiet, good highway performance, long tread life 
  • Performance– great handling and grip for aggressive driving in the dry, poor performance in wet and snow, short tread life 
  • All-Season– good highway performance, good wet, dry, and snow performance, moderately quiet 
  • Light Truck– good for heavier loads, hard compound, aggressive tread pattern, good on and off-road performance 
  • Winter– great in ice and snow, resists freezing, best at evacuating ice and snow, great winter traction

Now that you can “speak” tires and know the difference between the types of tires available, you can make an informed purchase, choosing the right tires for your needs.

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GM Offering New Free Maintenance Program

GM announced that most 2014 models of Buick, GMC, and Chevrolet vehicles will receive a new maintenance plan that covers certain scheduled services.

While some alternative-fuel models do not include the oil-changes, and some high-performance vehicles are not eligible for tire rotations when the service is not recommended, GM emphasized that the vast majority of 2014 vehicles will be included.

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Getting Ready for a Road Trip

Iowa is nice, but eventually, most drivers feel the need to wander a bit. Whether that means just driving over to Iowa City, going as far as Chicago, or even to one (or both) of the coasts, just driving somewhere new and seeing more of the country can do wonders for your mood — that’s the case with me, anyway. Plus, it’s just nice to get out of your bubble. In any case, though, before you undertake such an expedition, you’ll want to make sure that you’re prepared, and I’ve put together a few tips to help you out with that.

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10 Useful Tips When Buying Tires

When it comes to tire buying, it’s crucial that you find the safest, best-performing brand and type for your car. The Pat McGrath Chevyland service department wants all drivers to know how to get the right tires for your vehicle. Unfortunately, many people overlook this significant aspect of a vehicle, which leads to many problems that could have been avoided. Below are some tips to remember when tire shopping.

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Determining Long-Term Durability of Vehicles

You don’t need car repair experts to tell you that the long-term durability of a vehicle is important. Why buy something that won’t last? Fortunately, automakers and parts manufacturers are committed to ensuring that their products can stand the test of time, and they make sure of that by way of a series of tests. For every real situation to which your vehicle could be exposed, there’s a test to determine how it would hold up. But what are the particulars of some of these tests?

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Gasoline Prices Got You Down? Fill up on Natural Gas

Do you have any idea how often I’ve wished I could just put something else into my gas tank every time I saw gas prices creep up over $4/gal? Actually, you probably do. In fact, Chevrolet thinks that lots of drivers have had that thought.

General Motors announced some time ago that they were looking into offering bi-fuel trucks to their customers, and it seems that they have finally gone into production. If you’re getting a pickup, you will soon be able to add on the option to fill it up with natural gas.

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Learn About Rim Size With Pat McGrath Chevyland

If you’re tired of scouring car dealerships in the Cedar Rapids area for one that will answer all of your vehicle-related questions, then you should head over to Pat McGrath Chevyland. We’re happy to help you make the most of your vehicle in a variety of ways. Lately, outfitting your vehicle with bigger wheels appears to be very much in vogue, but is it for everyone? Should you do it? Does it have benefits beyond earning style points? Read on for the answers to these questions.

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